OPINION: An Undeniable Reality — Border Walls Work


Dave Ray Federation for American Immigration Reform
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For the second time in as many months, the U.S. Border Patrol has resorted to firing tear gas canisters at large angry mobs seeking to break through the border fence and enter the United States illegally. Despite the fact that these are the very same techniques we use to break up potentially violent crowds in the United States, there was swift condemnation by mass immigration advocates who decried the use of tear gas as some sort of human rights violation.

To set the record straight, the use of tear gas and other non-lethal forms of crowd dispersal is a widely accepted use of force among federal, state, and local law-enforcement personnel. It’s the safest and most effective way break up angry mobs who are looting stores, burning buildings, or in this case, tearing down the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico.

Of course, the use of tear gas and other demonstrations of force by the Border Patrol is only necessitated by the fact that in most sections of the border, the only thing separating the U.S. from Mexico is a single chain link fence, at best. And when an angry and violent mob of hundreds or thousands rushes a simple chain link fence, the fence is going down. That’s why President Trump should hold firm in his fight for the border wall and refuse to sign any legislation presented to him by Congress that doesn’t contain his full $5.6 billion funding request.

Consider three reasons why we need to build President Trump’s border wall:

For one, the U.S. is hemorrhaging money — at least $116 billion annually — because of the high cost of illegal immigration. Any money spent on a border wall is well invested and will pay for itself ten-fold down the road in costs to state and local governments.

Second, the border wall would save innocent American lives. How many more stories do Democratic leaders need to read about American lives that are needlessly lost or brutalized because of this country’s inability to keep out dangerous, criminal aliens. San Francisco’s late Kate Steinle, whose murder triggered a national debate on sanctuary cities, was killed by an illegal alien who had been deported five times. An illegal alien who had returned to the U.S. at least 20 times was again arrested after attacking and sexually assaulting a 65 year-old Portland woman. And an illegal alien accused of bludgeoning eight men, three of them fatally, had been already been deported six times from the U.S.

Finally, border walls work. The only thing that prevented the recent caravan of thousands of Central Americans from stampeding into the U.S. and disappearing into the the country was the border wall. Unfortunately, it’s only 14 miles long at this point. The wall stopped their progress north, and is the main reason — along with a strong show of force by the courageous men and women of the Border Patrol — why they are still in Mexico today.

So what’s stopping the requested funding for the border wall? It’s clearly not opposition to the concept of border deterrence on the part of current Democratic leaders, who have both supported strong border controls in the past. Speaker Pelosi, in 1996, voted for the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), a bill that authorized 14 miles of triple layer border fence — which has become the modern border wall south of San Diego. And Senator Schumer gave a glowing endorsement of the border control components of the 2013 Gang of Eight bill, calling the plan “a breathtaking show of force that will discourage future waves of illegal immigration.”

No, what seems to be stopping Democrat leaders from working with the president on securing funding is either their extreme pandering to the left-wing of their party, at best, or their personal hatred for the president, at worse. Either way, it’s inexcusable.

President Trump’s $5.6 billion request for the border wall is an enormous concession on his part, since most estimates pricing the entire wall as costing between $15 and $25 billion.He’s not even asking the Democrats to meet him halfway on the cost. Maybe it’s time to put public safety ahead of politics and approve the request.

Dave Ray is director of communications at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonprofit group advocating for legal immigration.

 The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.